In conversation with James Curleigh, President of Levi's Brand, at the Coachella Music Festival, earlier this year.
C: How many pairs of jeans do you own?
J: "Right now, I have 77 pairs."
C: How old and worn is your favourite pair of jeans?
J: "I have a vintage pair from 1978 or 1979, that I would've probably worn back then; and I'm currently living in the 1966 501 Replica. But my all-time favourite is a replica of the Levi's Tuxedo from 1954, which we had made for Bing Crosby. Whenever I have to go to a really formal event, for which the invitation says 'No jeans allowed' or 'Black-Tie'—I show up in the Levi's Tuxedo, and I haven't been kicked out yet." (Laughs)
C: What's it like, working at Levi's?
J: "The vibe is very laid back—we don't take ourselves too seriously but we take what we do very seriously. When you walk in, the first thing you'll see is the vault of our history, then the Levi's store—so you really feel the energy of the past and the present. I'd say our whole approach is quite energised and future-focused."
C: What is the biggest trend in the world of denim RN?
J: "I think it's not so much about the jeans you buy, it's what you do with them. From a trend point of view, we participate in all the trends, we drive a lot of them... But what we're really doing here is giving you the starting point, and you can then take the pair on a journey of authentic self-expression."
C: You wore a denim suit to the white house...
J: "Yes, and this was before I worked with Levi's. (Then) President Clinton said to me, 'I wish I could dress like that', and I said, 'Well, why don't you?'"